Small Farms

Sustainability and careful management are the key for WA’s fisheries

The latest status reports show Western Australia’s fish stocks continue to be in healthy condition.

Director of Fisheries Science and Resource Assessment, for the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Dr Dan Gaughan said the reports on the State’s fisheries indicate that 95% of them are not at risk or vulnerable to fishing exploitation.

“Most of the ecological risk to our State’s aquatic resources are currently at acceptable levels,” Dr Gaughan said.

“Where fish stocks have been impacted by adverse environmental conditions, management measures are in place to support the quickest possible recovery.

“These status reports are based on the comprehensive research assessments that were carried out in 2016/17.”

Dr Gaughan said the department’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fisheries management had underpinned WA’s success in gaining independent sustainability certification of key fisheries.

“The Marine Stewardship Council’s assessment methodology is the international gold standard test of the sustainability credentials for fisheries, with eight of WA’s fisheries having now achieved their independent certification,” he said.

“WA now has more fisheries certified through the MSC process than any other Australian State or the Federal Government.

“The latest status reports detail how our fisheries are doing overall, including where measures to improve breeding stocks have been introduced.

“In the West Coast Demersal Scalefish Fishery, for example, because of the long-lived nature of demersal species, the management goals introduced a decade ago are expected to take further time to fully recover the fishery.

In contrast, the steps taken to help Shark Bay’s crab and scallop fisheries rebound from the 2011 marine heat wave have now seen a recovery and a return to commercial fishing.

“Other fisheries that are being closely watched include the Cockburn Sound Crab Fishery, the West Coast garfish stocks and Wilson Inlet cobbler.”

For further detail, the Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia 2016/17 is now available on the DPIRD Fisheries website.

Source: WA DPIRD

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